May 6, 2021

Breckenridge Colorado: Pedestrian Main Street too Successful, Council Votes to Return Traffic on Street Instead

In the “you just can’t make this stuff up” department, here’s Breckenridge Colorado with a population of 5,000  nestled close to a good ski area.

Remember that town I wrote about,Longmeadow Massachusetts that created a fuss when raised crosswalks actually did their job and slowed traffic? Take a look at Breckenridge who decided not to have their open streets program, called the “Walkable Main”, this summer because it was too successful.

Why? Because it was “too popular and might cause problems for business with hiring staff to serve the 120 percent capacity the street creates” as reported in The Overhead Wire.

But it gets better. The Mayor and Town Council actually nixed the use of streets for anyone except car drivers, despite the fact that over 80 percent of both residents and businesses in Breckenridge wanted it.

As reported by “Drunk Engineer” on the Systemic Failure blog, Breckenridge Council member Dennis Kuhn said that residents on neighbouring streets did not like increased traffic on their streets, while another council member cited ‘safety issues’ with the closed street. Traffic, safety, and economic equity were cited as reasons for dissing the pedestrian open street.

The last word goes to the writer at Systemic Failure:

“Obviously the best way to improve safety is to drive lots of multi-ton vehicles down the main drag.”

Here are two YouTube videos about Breckenridge. The first describes the opening of Walkable Main in 2020, and the second is the building of “Bikeful Tower” of course put right in the middle of the Walkable Main when it was walkable.




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